Tuesday 11 December 2018

Cian Healy and Leinster hand Glasgow a European lesson

Cian Healy touched down twice
Cian Healy touched down twice

A brace of Cian Healy tries subjected Glasgow to another harsh lesson in European rugby as they lost 34-18 at home to Leinster.

Warriors' hopes of qualifying from Pool 3 of the European Champions Cup suffered a fresh blow after losing 24-15 to Exeter last week.

The hosts enjoyed the majority of possession but in reality were not clinical enough with the ball compared to their Irish opponents, whose powerful forward display proved enough to get the win in an entertaining encounter.

Stuart Hogg played a significant role on his return from a long-term injury, scoring once and setting another up, but could not drag Warriors to victory.

Jonny Sexton, who scored 17 points on the day, opened the scoring with simple penalty before a scrappy interlude in which both sides fell victim to the inclement weather, with handling errors aplenty in the driving Glasgow rain.

After a slow start, Hogg grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck with a searing break down the right wing which saw him beat several defenders with ease, eventually earning a penalty for his side which dragged the hosts back level.

The full-back was then on hand to finish a fine flowing move as Glasgow turned on the style in the 16th minute, Finn Russell looping round the back of Sam Johnson before kicking through for Tommy Seymour who poked the ball on for Hogg to dot down and open up a 10-3 advantage.

A poor clearance from Warriors enabled Leinster to fight back with territorial pressure, and after working their way over to the left wing eventually were rewarded eight minutes later as Healy burrowed over against the run of play to bring it back level.

Glasgow continued the pressure in their opponents' 22, but were made to pay for their wastefulness as a powerful rolling maul powered over the line with Healy again touching down for a 17-10 half-time lead.

The hosts came out with a point to prove after the break, but left a gaping hole in their defence for Luke McGrath to gallop through before Sexton was dragged down 10 metres out.

The ball made its way back to the fly-half and after exchanging passes with Scott Fardy he touched down in another clinical Leinster attack.

Seymour gave Glasgow a sniff after scoring in the corner but Noel Reid exposed a weak defence to secure a bonus point for Leo Cullen's men in what was a ruthless performance that effectively ended Glasgow's hopes of escaping the pool.

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